How often do we ask ourselves if the food we are eating is safe? This new year will bring in some new changes – but the most troubling one may be the new grading system for restaurants. Starting Jan. 1, a new restaurant grading system will be implemented. This new system was implemented when Supervisor Antonovich issued a Board motion in June 2015 that requested the Department of Public Health conduct a thorough review of the retail food facility grading system, including an assessment of current grading factors. Future grade cards placed on the site of one’s business by inspectors will include a Quick Response (QR) code from which the public can access a dashboard on their mobile phones showing a graphical presentation of the restaurant’s inspection information. Business owners can also access their inspection history data using the QR link. If a business owner is found with two or more Major Critical Risk violations, three additional points will be deducted. Some examples of a major critical risk violation are: food employees hands are not clean, food is not from an approved source, and improper cooking temperature. A business owner can find out more about Major Critical Risk Violations by visiting www.publichealth.lacounty.gov/. Business owners can review the FAQs made available on the EH website and the handouts given to operators by inspectors during routine inspections to be prepared. “Consumers will be affected with this new change as they will now have easier access to information on retail food facilities. Future grade cards will include a Quick Response (QR) code where the public can access data from a dashboard showing the history of inspections and a graphical representation of inspection information,” said a spokesperson from the Office of Communications and Public Affairs for the Department of Public Health. Likewise, when a food business is order closed for operating with no water, sewage, or vermin infestation an additional seven points will be deducted from the score. A food business operating under these conditions can significantly increase the risk to the public’s health. If one has any questions or requires additional information, Dean Zulcic at [email protected] or (626) 430-5217 can be contacted.